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Are You A Digitally-Deficient Senior Marketer?

Posted by Jeff Gundersen on February 11th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Are You A Digitally Deficient Senior Marketer?

By Jeff Gundersen, CEO – Executive Connections LLC

With digital marketing, social media, mobile advertising and marketing budgets growing at a compound rate of more than 20% annually, what steps are you taking as a senior marketer to build and develop your personal brand in an increasingly digital, social, and mobile marketing world?

Are you a Digitally & Socially Proficient or Deficient CMO?

We are seeing that a surprisingly high percentage of senior marketers are not compatible with the fast-arriving digital-marketing and social/mobile world, and this may explain the short average tenure of CMOs (i.e., less than 2 years) that makes this the highest-risk C-level position.

In many instances, senior marketers lack the professional experience to integrate the digital channel and new media with traditional off-line media and marketing strategies. They often don't have the digital/social marketing, direct marketing/CRM, and analytic/segmentation skills to lead integrated media and marketing programs, where digital/social/mobile marketing and media strategies are increasingly leading branding, broadcast and print media, direct, promotion, and PR.

So what does this mean for you as a senior marketer as you look ahead to the future and go from a mass marketer to a one-to-one marketer?

Here are the top five best practices you need to do now:

1.Learn everything about new media, including SEM, SEO, social media, and mobile marketing tools. These new media channels are fast becoming the new drivers of integrated-marketing and media efforts.

2.Immerse yourself in direct marketing, CRM, database, analytics and segmentation.  This will allow you to manage your personal transition from a mass marketer to a one-to-one marketer.

3. Focus yourself in the internet and understand best practices in website design, online customer engagement, e-mail marketing and e-commerce (online sales and lead generation), both within your industry sector and in other sectors. In this new marketing "Age of the Customer," online customer engagement is critical to overall brand-building success.

4. Do a deep dive into understanding mobile marketing -- smart phones, iPhone, tablets, and other mobile devices are the future communication hubs for receiving just-in-time, and geo-targeted communications and incentives -- at the point of sale.  The mobile phone is rapidly becoming a new payment and coupon system where discounts can be applied and funds automatically transferred at the point of sale.

5. Hire talent  (VP levels and below) with complementary digital and technical skill sets -- people who understand the numbers, who focus on ROI.  (i.e., explore engineers with Ph.D.s.)  In other words, surround yourself with VPs and Directors who have the relevant skills in database/analytics, online marketing/social media, mobile, e-commerce that you may be lacking. Then learn from them.

"The Age of the Customer".... It Needs To Be Personal and Relevant

We have arrived at a new marketing era ("The Age of the Customer") where the customer is in charge and today's marketer is expected to deliver relevant content and exceptional customer engagement in whichever channel the customer chooses. Marketing is not about the masses but about the individual, and today's focus is on identifying and understanding "micro-segments "of customers and using tools that enable marketing campaigns to be delivered on a one-to-one level.

We are seeing the death of traditional brand management. Consumers are taking away less from brand advertising (take note of the negative reviews of recent Super Bowl ads) and more from customer experience and what their friends, family, colleagues, and people they are connected with are saying positively or negatively about specific brands. What this means is marketing, advertising and communication processes are changing quickly and senior marketers need to change their core competencies quickly to remain relevant in the digital and social marketing world.

Marketing in "Real Time"

Unlike marketing campaigns that take six months to develop and then remain in the marketplace for a long period, new integrated marketing campaigns are being created in less than half the time, and in most instances, online elements are being changed and optimized in "real time." The ability of a senior marketer to think on his/her feet, and respond quickly and nimbly, has never been more apparent or more important.

About The Author:

Jeff Gundersen is CEO of Executive Connections, LLC, an executive-search consulting and coaching firm specializing in CMOs and senior-level digital & social marketing leaders.

2 Responses to “Are You A Digitally-Deficient Senior Marketer?”

  1. Daphne says:

    If those VP or other roles don't exist in your organization, what do feel is the best way to get that in-depth knowledge on things like mobile, social and SEM. Online articles don't seem to *really* teach these skills. Are there books you recommend or online classes /webinars?

  2. Jeff Gundersen says:

    I am on the Board of Trustees of DMEF, a non-profit education organization working with 100+ colleges and universities to develop the next generation curriculums in digital marketing including mobile, social, SEM, etc. I suggest you check with one of the major universities in your area and consider registering for courses.

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